As I'm sure you've already discovered, apartment-hunting in NYC can be very stressful, although it may be better now that fewer people have jobs and thus fewer people are flocking to NYC.
There is a website called BangItOut.com with lots of apartment listings, especially if you're open to moving into apartment with one or two other usually SS/SK (shomer-Shabbat/shomer-kashrut) roommates. It is best for the Upper West Side, but also has a few apartment listings in other parts of NYC and other cities. You can put an ad there if you're looking, although it's best to be proactive and read through the listings. This is true in general in NYC, since there seem to be a lot more people seeking apartments (especially of the less expensive, not gross variety) than apartments/rooms available. The burden is really on the seeker to find a place, not the people with the apartment to find new roommates.
Other UWS-specific listings that may help include:
- Maalot West, the less popular sibling of Maalot Washington (the way to find an apartment with a room open in Washington Heights if you're looking in the SS/SK market)
- the KOE (Kehilat Orach Eliezer) weekly Shabbat announcements with listings (I don't see it online, since KOE just apparently redid their website)
- the Kehilat Hadar weekly Shabbat announcements with listings (http://www.kehilathadar.org/community/postings)
- Look on Craigslist for Upper West Side and Morningside Heights, if you're willing to go a bit further north (past 100th St.). Note that some "Upper West Side" apartment listings will be well into Harlem, which is all fine and good, except that some parts of Harlem (most?) are outside the Upper Manhattan eruv.
- There is a great website called Maalot Washington with lots of apartment listings, especially if you're open to moving into apartment with one or two other roommates.
- You can put an ad on the Maalot listserv in addition to posting on the Maalot Washington website and responding to ads there and on the listserv.
- Look on Craigslist for Washington Heights and also Hudson Heights. (Realtors started calling the fancier part of Washington Heights "Hudson Heights" after it started gentrifying/going upscale. Hudson Heights would generally be the area north of 181st St. and West of Fort Washington Ave.) I saw some apartments that way.
- You can put an ad on the Migdal Or listserv by writing, I think, to midgalor [at] gmail.com.
One way that people I know have been successful at finding apartments directly through the real estate manager/landlord is by literally walking the streets in the neighborhood in which you are interested in living and talking names/numbers off of buildings or speaking to supers/doormen about the availability of apartments in that building.
- 20th: W. 59th to W. 86th St.
- 24th: W. 86th to W. 110th St.
- 26th: W. 110th St. to W. 133rd St.
- 33rd: W. 156th to W. 179th St.
- 34th: W. 179th St. to the top of Manhattan (includes Inwood)